ENCYCLICAL LETTER CARITAS IN VERITATE OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS PRIESTS AND DEACONS. Official Website of the Catholic Church for England and Wales. “Caritas in veritate” is a principle that takes on practical form in the criteria that Love in truth – caritas in veritate – is a great challenge for the Church in a world.

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    “The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to. Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. Copies of the . Caritas In Veritate (Charity in Truth), Pope Benedict XVI – Anticipated since. social teaching: Caritas in Veritate, of our Holy Father: Pope Benedict XVI. “ Caritas in Veritate” is a social encyclical like very many others before it, beginning.

    Introduction[ edit ] The encyclical begins with a discussion of how charity and truth are fundamental parts of our development, both as individuals and for humanity as a whole. Love charity [a] is described as an extraordinary force motivating people to strive for the common good: "The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbours, the more effectively we love them". The Pope emphasizes that while charity is "at the heart of the Church's social doctrine", it must be linked to truth if it is to remain a force for good. Without truth, love can become an "empty shell" to be filled with emotional influences which in the worst case can result in love turning into its opposite. Similarly, social action without truth can end up "serving private interests and the logic of power". Another risk for the individual without truth is to fall prey to an excessively sceptical and empirical view of life. He says the Christian is called on to engage politically for the benefit of other people in so far as he or she is able, and equally to love and help their neighbours on an individual level. Chapter 1: The message of Populorum progressio[ edit ] Chapter 1 continues the discussion of Populorum progressio, illustrating how it fits in both with Pope Paul VI's overall magisterium and with the broader tradition of Catholic teachings. Benedict recounts how the earlier encyclical taught that institutions designed to hasten social development are not by themselves sufficient to ensure good outcomes. He reminds us that Paul VI advised the chief causes of enduring poverty are not material in nature, but lie in failures of the will and "the lack of brotherhood among individuals and peoples". He asserts that people working for the benefit of others need their own individual sense of vocation, which is derived in part from the Bible and the life of Christ. Benedict states that while reason alone can identify inequality and while globalization has made us neighbours, neither can establish the sense of fraternity which flows from God's love. The Pope introduces a theme concerning the importance in tackling hunger which reoccurs later in the work, using a quote from Populorum progressio: "the peoples in hunger are making a dramatic appeal to the peoples blessed with abundance". Chapter 2: human development in our time[ edit ] The Pope describes globalization as the main feature of the current age. Benedict warns of dangers arising from unbalanced growth and from those pursuing profit purely for its own sake, without seeing profit as a means to do good.

    At a distance of over forty years from the Encyclical's publication, I intend to pay tribute and to honour the memory of the great Pope Paul VI, revisiting his teachings on integral human development and taking my place within the path that they marked out, so as to apply them to the present moment. This continual application to contemporary circumstances began with the Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis , with which the Servant of God Pope John Paul II chose to mark the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Populorum Progressio.

    Until that time, only Rerum Novarum had been commemorated in this way. Love in truth — caritas in veritate — is a great challenge for the Church in a world that is becoming progressively and pervasively globalized.

    The risk for our time is that the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development. Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith , is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value. The sharing of goods and resources, from which authentic development proceeds, is not guaranteed by merely technical progress and relationships of utility, but by the potential of love that overcomes evil with good cf.

    Caritas in veritate - Wikipedia

    Rom Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth , which alone is the guarantee of freedom cf. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested.

    This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations [12]. A fresh reading of Populorum Progressio , more than forty years after its publication, invites us to remain faithful to its message of charity and truth, viewed within the overall context of Paul VI's specific magisterium and, more generally, within the tradition of the Church's social doctrine.

    Moreover, an evaluation is needed of the different terms in which the problem of development is presented today, as compared with forty years ago. The correct viewpoint, then, is that of the Tradition of the apostolic faith [13] , a patrimony both ancient and new, outside of which Populorum Progressio would be a document without roots — and issues concerning development would be reduced to merely sociological data.

    The publication of Populorum Progressio occurred immediately after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, and in its opening paragraphs it clearly indicates its close connection with the Council [14]. The Council probed more deeply what had always belonged to the truth of the faith, namely that the Church, being at God's service, is at the service of the world in terms of love and truth.

    Paul VI set out from this vision in order to convey two important truths. The first is that the whole Church, in all her being and acting — when she proclaims, when she celebrates, when she performs works of charity — is engaged in promoting integral human development.

    She has a public role over and above her charitable and educational activities: In not a few cases, that freedom is impeded by prohibitions and persecutions, or it is limited when the Church's public presence is reduced to her charitable activities alone.

    The second truth is that authentic human development concerns the whole of the person in every single dimension [16]. Without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in this world is denied breathing-space. Enclosed within history, it runs the risk of being reduced to the mere accumulation of wealth; humanity thus loses the courage to be at the service of higher goods, at the service of the great and disinterested initiatives called forth by universal charity.

    Man does not develop through his own powers, nor can development simply be handed to him. In the course of history, it was often maintained that the creation of institutions was sufficient to guarantee the fulfilment of humanity's right to development. Unfortunately, too much confidence was placed in those institutions, as if they were able to deliver the desired objective automatically.

    In reality, institutions by themselves are not enough, because integral human development is primarily a vocation, and therefore it involves a free assumption of responsibility in solidarity on the part of everyone. Moreover, such development requires a transcendent vision of the person, it needs God: The link between Populorum Progressio and the Second Vatican Council does not mean that Paul VI's social magisterium marked a break with that of previous Popes, because the Council constitutes a deeper exploration of this magisterium within the continuity of the Church's life [19].

    In this sense, clarity is not served by certain abstract subdivisions of the Church's social doctrine, which apply categories to Papal social teaching that are extraneous to it.

    It is not a case of two typologies of social doctrine, one pre-conciliar and one post-conciliar, differing from one another: It is one thing to draw attention to the particular characteristics of one Encyclical or another, of the teaching of one Pope or another, but quite another to lose sight of the coherence of the overall doctrinal corpus [21]. Coherence does not mean a closed system: The Church's social doctrine illuminates with an unchanging light the new problems that are constantly emerging [22].

    Social doctrine is built on the foundation handed on by the Apostles to the Fathers of the Church, and then received and further explored by the great Christian doctors. It is attested by the saints and by those who gave their lives for Christ our Saviour in the field of justice and peace. It is an expression of the prophetic task of the Supreme Pontiffs to give apostolic guidance to the Church of Christ and to discern the new demands of evangelization.

    For these reasons, Populorum Progressio , situated within the great current of Tradition, can still speak to us today. In addition to its important link with the entirety of the Church's social doctrine, Populorum Progressio is closely connected to the overall magisterium of Paul VI , especially his social magisterium. His was certainly a social teaching of great importance: Paul VI clearly understood that the social question had become worldwide [25] and he grasped the interconnection between the impetus towards the unification of humanity and the Christian ideal of a single family of peoples in solidarity and fraternity.

    In the notion of development, understood in human and Christian terms, he identified the heart of the Christian social message , and he proposed Christian charity as the principal force at the service of development. Motivated by the wish to make Christ's love fully visible to contemporary men and women, Paul VI addressed important ethical questions robustly, without yielding to the cultural weaknesses of his time.

    In his Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens of , Paul VI reflected on the meaning of politics, and the danger constituted by utopian and ideological visions that place its ethical and human dimensions in jeopardy.

    These are matters closely connected with development. Unfortunately the negative ideologies continue to flourish. Paul VI had already warned against the technocratic ideology so prevalent today [26] , fully aware of the great danger of entrusting the entire process of development to technology alone, because in that way it would lack direction. Technology, viewed in itself, is ambivalent.

    If on the one hand, some today would be inclined to entrust the entire process of development to technology, on the other hand we are witnessing an upsurge of ideologies that deny in toto the very value of development, viewing it as radically anti-human and merely a source of degradation.

    This leads to a rejection, not only of the distorted and unjust way in which progress is sometimes directed, but also of scientific discoveries themselves, which, if well used, could serve as an opportunity of growth for all.

    The idea of a world without development indicates a lack of trust in man and in God. Idealizing technical progress, or contemplating the utopia of a return to humanity's original natural state, are two contrasting ways of detaching progress from its moral evaluation and hence from our responsibility. Two further documents by Paul VI without any direct link to social doctrine — the Encyclical Humanae Vitae 25 July and the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi 8 December — are highly important for delineating the fully human meaning of the development that the Church proposes.

    It is therefore helpful to consider these texts too in relation to Populorum Progressio. The Encyclical Humanae Vitae emphasizes both the unitive and the procreative meaning of sexuality, thereby locating at the foundation of society the married couple, man and woman, who accept one another mutually, in distinction and in complementarity: This is not a question of purely individual morality: Humanae Vitae indicates the strong links between life ethics and social ethics , ushering in a new area of magisterial teaching that has gradually been articulated in a series of documents, most recently John Paul II's Encyclical Evangelium Vitae [28].

    Testimony to Christ's charity, through works of justice, peace and development, is part and parcel of evangelization , because Jesus Christ, who loves us, is concerned with the whole person. These important teachings form the basis for the missionary aspect [32] of the Church's social doctrine, which is an essential element of evangelization [33].

    The Church's social doctrine proclaims and bears witness to faith. It is an instrument and an indispensable setting for formation in faith. In Populorum Progressio , Paul VI taught that progress, in its origin and essence, is first and foremost a vocation: If development were concerned with merely technical aspects of human life, and not with the meaning of man's pilgrimage through history in company with his fellow human beings, nor with identifying the goal of that journey, then the Church would not be entitled to speak on it.

    Paul VI, like Leo XIII before him in Rerum Novarum [35] , knew that he was carrying out a duty proper to his office by shedding the light of the Gospel on the social questions of his time [36]. To regard development as a vocation is to recognize, on the one hand, that it derives from a transcendent call, and on the other hand that it is incapable, on its own, of supplying its ultimate meaning. It is also the principal reason why that Encyclical is still timely in our day.

    A vocation is a call that requires a free and responsible answer. Integral human development presupposes the responsible freedom of the individual and of peoples: This false security becomes a weakness, because it involves reducing man to subservience, to a mere means for development, while the humility of those who accept a vocation is transformed into true autonomy, because it sets them free.

    This too is a vocation, a call addressed by free subjects to other free subjects in favour of an assumption of shared responsibility. Paul VI had a keen sense of the importance of economic structures and institutions, but he had an equally clear sense of their nature as instruments of human freedom. Only when it is free can development be integrally human; only in a climate of responsible freedom can it grow in a satisfactory manner.

    Besides requiring freedom, integral human development as a vocation also demands respect for its truth. But herein lies the problem: Amid the various competing anthropological visions put forward in today's society, even more so than in Paul VI's time, the Christian vision has the particular characteristic of asserting and justifying the unconditional value of the human person and the meaning of his growth.

    The Christian vocation to development helps to promote the advancement of all men and of the whole man. As Paul VI wrote: In promoting development, the Christian faith does not rely on privilege or positions of power, nor even on the merits of Christians even though these existed and continue to exist alongside their natural limitations [44] , but only on Christ, to whom every authentic vocation to integral human development must be directed.

    The truth of development consists in its completeness: This is the central message of Populorum Progressio , valid for today and for all time. Finally, the vision of development as a vocation brings with it the central place of charity within that development.

    Paul VI, in his Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio , pointed out that the causes of underdevelopment are not primarily of the material order. He invited us to search for them in other dimensions of the human person: But that is not all.

    Underdevelopment has an even more important cause than lack of deep thought: Will it ever be possible to obtain this brotherhood by human effort alone? As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbours but does not make us brothers.

    Reason, by itself, is capable of grasping the equality between men and of giving stability to their civic coexistence, but it cannot establish fraternity. This originates in a transcendent vocation from God the Father, who loved us first, teaching us through the Son what fraternal charity is.

    These perspectives, which Populorum Progressio opens up, remain fundamental for giving breathing-space and direction to our commitment for the development of peoples. Moreover, Populorum Progressio repeatedly underlines the urgent need for reform [54] , and in the face of great problems of injustice in the development of peoples, it calls for courageous action to be taken without delay.

    This urgency is also a consequence of charity in truth. It is Christ's charity that drives us on: The urgency is inscribed not only in things, it is not derived solely from the rapid succession of events and problems, but also from the very matter that is at stake: Paul VI had an articulated vision of development. He understood the term to indicate the goal of rescuing peoples, first and foremost, from hunger, deprivation, endemic diseases and illiteracy.

    From the economic point of view, this meant their active participation, on equal terms, in the international economic process; from the social point of view, it meant their evolution into educated societies marked by solidarity; from the political point of view, it meant the consolidation of democratic regimes capable of ensuring freedom and peace. After so many years, as we observe with concern the developments and perspectives of the succession of crises that afflict the world today, we ask to what extent Paul VI's expectations have been fulfilled by the model of development adopted in recent decades.

    We recognize, therefore, that the Church had good reason to be concerned about the capacity of a purely technological society to set realistic goals and to make good use of the instruments at its disposal. Profit is useful if it serves as a means towards an end that provides a sense both of how to produce it and how to make good use of it.

    Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.

    The economic development that Paul VI hoped to see was meant to produce real growth, of benefit to everyone and genuinely sustainable. It is true that growth has taken place, and it continues to be a positive factor that has lifted billions of people out of misery — recently it has given many countries the possibility of becoming effective players in international politics. Yet it must be acknowledged that this same economic growth has been and continues to be weighed down by malfunctions and dramatic problems , highlighted even further by the current crisis.

    This presents us with choices that cannot be postponed concerning nothing less than the destiny of man, who, moreover, cannot prescind from his nature. The technical forces in play, the global interrelations, the damaging effects on the real economy of badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing, large-scale migration of peoples, often provoked by some particular circumstance and then given insufficient attention, the unregulated exploitation of the earth's resources: The different aspects of the crisis, its solutions, and any new development that the future may bring, are increasingly interconnected, they imply one another, they require new efforts of holistic understanding and a new humanistic synthesis.

    The complexity and gravity of the present economic situation rightly cause us concern, but we must adopt a realistic attitude as we take up with confidence and hope the new responsibilities to which we are called by the prospect of a world in need of profound cultural renewal, a world that needs to rediscover fundamental values on which to build a better future.

    The current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment, to build on positive experiences and to reject negative ones. The crisis thus becomes an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future.

    In this spirit, with confidence rather than resignation, it is appropriate to address the difficulties of the present time. Today the picture of development has many overlapping layers. The actors and the causes in both underdevelopment and development are manifold, the faults and the merits are differentiated.

    This fact should prompt us to liberate ourselves from ideologies, which often oversimplify reality in artificial ways, and it should lead us to examine objectively the full human dimension of the problems. As John Paul II has already observed, the demarcation line between rich and poor countries is no longer as clear as it was at the time of Populorum Progressio [55]. The world's wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities are on the increase. In rich countries, new sectors of society are succumbing to poverty and new forms of poverty are emerging.

    Corruption and illegality are unfortunately evident in the conduct of the economic and political class in rich countries, both old and new, as well as in poor ones. Among those who sometimes fail to respect the human rights of workers are large multinational companies as well as local producers.

    International aid has often been diverted from its proper ends, through irresponsible actions both within the chain of donors and within that of the beneficiaries. Similarly, in the context of immaterial or cultural causes of development and underdevelopment, we find these same patterns of responsibility reproduced. On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care.

    At the same time, in some poor countries, cultural models and social norms of behaviour persist which hinder the process of development. Many areas of the globe today have evolved considerably, albeit in problematical and disparate ways, thereby taking their place among the great powers destined to play important roles in the future.

    Yet it should be stressed that progress of a merely economic and technological kind is insufficient. Development needs above all to be true and integral.

    The mere fact of emerging from economic backwardness, though positive in itself, does not resolve the complex issues of human advancement, neither for the countries that are spearheading such progress, nor for those that are already economically developed, nor even for those that are still poor, which can suffer not just through old forms of exploitation, but also from the negative consequences of a growth that is marked by irregularities and imbalances.

    After the collapse of the economic and political systems of the Communist countries of Eastern Europe and the end of the so-called opposing blocs , a complete re-examination of development was needed. Pope John Paul II called for it, when in he pointed to the existence of these blocs as one of the principal causes of underdevelopment [57] , inasmuch as politics withdrew resources from the economy and from the culture, and ideology inhibited freedom.

    Moreover, in , after the events of , he asked that, in view of the ending of the blocs, there should be a comprehensive new plan for development, not only in those countries, but also in the West and in those parts of the world that were in the process of evolving [58]. This has been achieved only in part, and it is still a real duty that needs to be discharged, perhaps by means of the choices that are necessary to overcome current economic problems.

    The world that Paul VI had before him — even though society had already evolved to such an extent that he could speak of social issues in global terms — was still far less integrated than today's world. Economic activity and the political process were both largely conducted within the same geographical area, and could therefore feed off one another.

    Production took place predominantly within national boundaries, and financial investments had somewhat limited circulation outside the country, so that the politics of many States could still determine the priorities of the economy and to some degree govern its performance using the instruments at their disposal.

    In our own day, the State finds itself having to address the limitations to its sovereignty imposed by the new context of international trade and finance, which is characterized by increasing mobility both of financial capital and means of production, material and immaterial. This new context has altered the political power of States. Today, as we take to heart the lessons of the current economic crisis, which sees the State's public authorities directly involved in correcting errors and malfunctions, it seems more realistic to re-evaluate their role and their powers, which need to be prudently reviewed and remodelled so as to enable them, perhaps through new forms of engagement, to address the challenges of today's world.

    Once the role of public authorities has been more clearly defined, one could foresee an increase in the new forms of political participation, nationally and internationally, that have come about through the activity of organizations operating in civil society; in this way it is to be hoped that the citizens' interest and participation in the res publica will become more deeply rooted.

    From the social point of view, systems of protection and welfare, already present in many countries in Paul VI's day, are finding it hard and could find it even harder in the future to pursue their goals of true social justice in today's profoundly changed environment.

    The global market has stimulated first and foremost, on the part of rich countries, a search for areas in which to outsource production at low cost with a view to reducing the prices of many goods, increasing downloading power and thus accelerating the rate of development in terms of greater availability of consumer goods for the domestic market.

    Consequently, the market has prompted new forms of competition between States as they seek to attract foreign businesses to set up production centres, by means of a variety of instruments, including favourable fiscal regimes and deregulation of the labour market. These processes have led to a downsizing of social security systems as the price to be paid for seeking greater competitive advantage in the global market, with consequent grave danger for the rights of workers, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional forms of the social State.

    Systems of social security can lose the capacity to carry out their task, both in emerging countries and in those that were among the earliest to develop, as well as in poor countries.

    Here budgetary policies, with cuts in social spending often made under pressure from international financial institutions, can leave citizens powerless in the face of old and new risks; such powerlessness is increased by the lack of effective protection on the part of workers' associations. Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions.

    Hence traditional networks of solidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. The repeated calls issued within the Church's social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum [60] , for the promotion of workers' associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past, as a prompt and far-sighted response to the urgent need for new forms of cooperation at the international level, as well as the local level.

    The mobility of labour , associated with a climate of deregulation, is an important phenomenon with certain positive aspects, because it can stimulate wealth production and cultural exchange. Nevertheless, uncertainty over working conditions caused by mobility and deregulation, when it becomes endemic, tends to create new forms of psychological instability, giving rise to difficulty in forging coherent life-plans, including that of marriage.

    This leads to situations of human decline, to say nothing of the waste of social resources. In comparison with the casualties of industrial society in the past, unemployment today provokes new forms of economic marginalization, and the current crisis can only make this situation worse. Being out of work or dependent on public or private assistance for a prolonged period undermines the freedom and creativity of the person and his family and social relationships, causing great psychological and spiritual suffering.

    I would like to remind everyone, especially governments engaged in boosting the world's economic and social assets, that the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is man, the human person in his or her integrity: On the cultural plane, compared with Paul VI's day, the difference is even more marked.

    At that time cultures were relatively well defined and had greater opportunity to defend themselves against attempts to merge them into one. Today the possibilities of interaction between cultures have increased significantly, giving rise to new openings for intercultural dialogue: Let it not be forgotten that the increased commercialization of cultural exchange today leads to a twofold danger.

    First, one may observe a cultural eclecticism that is often assumed uncritically: This easily yields to a relativism that does not serve true intercultural dialogue; on the social plane, cultural relativism has the effect that cultural groups coexist side by side, but remain separate, with no authentic dialogue and therefore with no true integration.

    Secondly, the opposite danger exists, that of cultural levelling and indiscriminate acceptance of types of conduct and life-styles. In this way one loses sight of the profound significance of the culture of different nations, of the traditions of the various peoples, by which the individual defines himself in relation to life's fundamental questions [62]. What eclecticism and cultural levelling have in common is the separation of culture from human nature.

    Thus, cultures can no longer define themselves within a nature that transcends them [63] , and man ends up being reduced to a mere cultural statistic. When this happens, humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation. Life in many poor countries is still extremely insecure as a consequence of food shortages, and the situation could become worse: Feed the hungry cf.

    Moreover, the elimination of world hunger has also, in the global era, become a requirement for safeguarding the peace and stability of the planet. Hunger is not so much dependent on lack of material things as on shortage of social resources, the most important of which are institutional. What is missing, in other words, is a network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water for nutritional needs, and also capable of addressing the primary needs and necessities ensuing from genuine food crises, whether due to natural causes or political irresponsibility, nationally and internationally.

    The problem of food insecurity needs to be addressed within a long-term perspective, eliminating the structural causes that give rise to it and promoting the agricultural development of poorer countries. This can be done by investing in rural infrastructures, irrigation systems, transport, organization of markets, and in the development and dissemination of agricultural technology that can make the best use of the human, natural and socio-economic resources that are more readily available at the local level, while guaranteeing their sustainability over the long term as well.

    All this needs to be accomplished with the involvement of local communities in choices and decisions that affect the use of agricultural land. In this perspective, it could be useful to consider the new possibilities that are opening up through proper use of traditional as well as innovative farming techniques, always assuming that these have been judged, after sufficient testing, to be appropriate, respectful of the environment and attentive to the needs of the most deprived peoples.

    At the same time, the question of equitable agrarian reform in developing countries should not be ignored. The right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit of other rights, beginning with the fundamental right to life. It is therefore necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination [65]. It is important, moreover, to emphasize that solidarity with poor countries in the process of development can point towards a solution of the current global crisis, as politicians and directors of international institutions have begun to sense in recent times.

    Through support for economically poor countries by means of financial plans inspired by solidarity — so that these countries can take steps to satisfy their own citizens' demand for consumer goods and for development — not only can true economic growth be generated, but a contribution can be made towards sustaining the productive capacities of rich countries that risk being compromised by the crisis. One of the most striking aspects of development in the present day is the important question of respect for life , which cannot in any way be detached from questions concerning the development of peoples.

    It is an aspect which has acquired increasing prominence in recent times, obliging us to broaden our concept of poverty [66] and underdevelopment to include questions connected with the acceptance of life, especially in cases where it is impeded in a variety of ways.

    Not only does the situation of poverty still provoke high rates of infant mortality in many regions, but some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion.

    In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress.

    Some non-governmental Organizations work actively to spread abortion, at times promoting the practice of sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies which de facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures.

    Further grounds for concern are laws permitting euthanasia as well as pressure from lobby groups, nationally and internationally, in favour of its juridical recognition. Openness to life is at the centre of true development.

    When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man's true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away [67].

    The acceptance of life strengthens moral fibre and makes people capable of mutual help. By cultivating openness to life, wealthy peoples can better understand the needs of poor ones, they can avoid employing huge economic and intellectual resources to satisfy the selfish desires of their own citizens, and instead, they can promote virtuous action within the perspective of production that is morally sound and marked by solidarity, respecting the fundamental right to life of every people and every individual.

    There is another aspect of modern life that is very closely connected to development: I am not referring simply to the struggles and conflicts that continue to be fought in the world for religious motives, even if at times the religious motive is merely a cover for other reasons, such as the desire for domination and wealth.

    Today, in fact, people frequently kill in the holy name of God, as both my predecessor John Paul II and I myself have often publicly acknowledged and lamented [68]. Violence puts the brakes on authentic development and impedes the evolution of peoples towards greater socio-economic and spiritual well-being. This applies especially to terrorism motivated by fundamentalism [69] , which generates grief, destruction and death, obstructs dialogue between nations and diverts extensive resources from their peaceful and civil uses.

    Yet it should be added that, as well as religious fanaticism that in some contexts impedes the exercise of the right to religious freedom, so too the deliberate promotion of religious indifference or practical atheism on the part of many countries obstructs the requirements for the development of peoples, depriving them of spiritual and human resources.

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    Man is not a lost atom in a random universe [70]: If man were merely the fruit of either chance or necessity, or if he had to lower his aspirations to the limited horizon of the world in which he lives, if all reality were merely history and culture, and man did not possess a nature destined to transcend itself in a supernatural life, then one could speak of growth, or evolution, but not development.

    When the State promotes, teaches, or actually imposes forms of practical atheism, it deprives its citizens of the moral and spiritual strength that is indispensable for attaining integral human development and it impedes them from moving forward with renewed dynamism as they strive to offer a more generous human response to divine love [71]. In the context of cultural, commercial or political relations, it also sometimes happens that economically developed or emerging countries export this reductive vision of the person and his destiny to poor countries.

    In this context, the theme of integral human development takes on an even broader range of meanings: Often it is thought that development, or the socio-economic measures that go with it, merely require to be implemented through joint action. In view of the complexity of the issues, it is obvious that the various disciplines have to work together through an orderly interdisciplinary exchange. Charity does not exclude knowledge, but rather requires, promotes, and animates it from within.

    Knowledge is never purely the work of the intellect. Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile. Faced with the phenomena that lie before us, charity in truth requires first of all that we know and understand, acknowledging and respecting the specific competence of every level of knowledge. Charity is not an added extra, like an appendix to work already concluded in each of the various disciplines: The demands of love do not contradict those of reason.

    The purpose, then, of this relatively humble exercise is simply to acquaint readers with what the encyclical says, while eliminating some eighty percent of the time it would take to read it. The text is divided into an introduction, six chapters, and a conclusion. I will summarize each in turn, and I will avoid inserting myself into the discussion, even at the very end.

    Please be warned that this is still three times longer than the commentaries which usually appear in this space. In this way, not only do we do a service to charity enlightened by truth, but we also help give credibility to truth, demonstrating its persuasive and authenticating power in the practical setting of social living.

    This is a matter of no small account today, in a social and cultural context which relativizes truth, often paying little heed to it and showing increasing reluctance to acknowledge its existence. He reminds us that justice is intrinsic to charity—that is, justice is not divorced from charity but presupposed by it, for we would never perform an act of charity for someone we love while at the same time doing him an injustice.

    It is not a case of two typologies of social doctrine, one pre-conciliar and one post-conciliar, differing from one another: on the contrary, there is a single teaching, consistent and at the same time ever new. He argues again that integral human development is a vocation from God that demands responsible freedom, respect for truth, and charity that will blossom into authentic fraternity in the social order.

    He discusses the collapse of the economic and political systems of the Communist bloc and the immense difficulty of replacing them with structures conducive to authentic development; the paradoxical limitations of State sovereignty in the face of the new context of international trade and finance; the reduction of social systems of protection and welfare in order to gain a competitive edge; the growing difficulties of trade unions; the problematic mobility of labor; the emphasis on financial capital at the expense of human capital; the damage wrought by cultural relativism and cultural eclecticism; and the growing separation of human culture from human nature.

    He briefly discusses each of these developments. Access to food and water must be considered a fundamental human right. Hence charity and truth confront us with an altogether new and creative challenge, one that is certainly vast and complex.

    I believe that this unique contribution is most characteristic of chapter three. Benedict explains: Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life. The human being is made for gift, which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension. Sometimes modern man is wrongly convinced that he is the sole author of himself, his life and society.

    This is a presumption that follows from being selfishly closed in upon himself, and it is a consequence—to express it in faith terms—of original sin. The market must not limit itself to the commutative justice represented by the contract, but must also incorporate in its very foundations certain elements of distributive and social justice which bring all parties together in an ever-stronger fraternal community.

    Indeed, the market is not some infallible machinery that always produces the right result, such that it is necessary to keep God and values out of it. Nor is the market evil, and it is equally foolish to condemn it as a source of evil.

    Thus does the Pope dispatch ideologies of right and left. Rather, the market is a neutral instrument which is directed this way and that by the moral decisions of human persons.

    Discussion Guides

    Without a spiritual perspective, human progress 'runs the risk of being reduced to the mere accumulation of wealth'. In fact, the economy itself is damaged by social inequality. When for example we lower the standards of protection for workers, it is at the expense of lasting development n The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly — not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is people-centred.

    The Church, however, teaches that distributive and social justice also have a vital place in the market economy n The market must not become 'the place where the strong subdue the weak' n 36 : it is false to claim that 'the market economy has an inbuilt need for a quota of poverty and underdevelopment in order to function at its best' n Without internal forms of solidarity and mutual trust, the market cannot completely fulfil its proper economic function.

    And today it is this trust which has ceased to exist, and the loss of trust is a grave loss. The Tasks We Face Pope Benedict says that the current crisis obliges us 'to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment' n In doing this, the Pope reminds us of the central importance of 'the human person in his or her integrity', who is 'the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life' n Development also raises the issue of respect for and acceptance of life.

    Hunger still 'reaps enormous numbers of victims' throughout the world, and eliminating it is a basic requirement for safeguarding the world's peace and stability. It still exists not because of any material shortage but because we lack a 'network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water' n The natural environment, God's gift to everyone, is bound up with the concept of development. It is the task of the developed nations to lower their use of scarce or non-renewable resources.

    This is not something that can be 'left in the hands of whoever is first to claim the spoils, or whoever is able to prevail over the rest' n Pope Benedict also emphasises that solidarity with poorer developing countries 'can point towards a solution of the current global crisis'. In fact, he suggests, we can help alleviate the global crisis by solidarity with and support for economically poor countries, and in turn generate true economic growth and help sustain the productive capacities of rich countries n He also calls for space in the market for people or organisations that are not primarily motivated by pure profit, 'without sacrificing the production of economic value in the process' n Beyond that, we need a place in our relationships for free acts of charity and solidarity that are neither 'giving in order to acquire the logic of exchange ' nor 'giving through duty the logic of public obligation ' n The Pope also calls for a system that avoids speculation only for short-term profit n It is necessary to correct the malfunctions, some of them serious, that cause new divisions between peoples and within peoples, and also to ensure that the redistribution of wealth does not come about through the redistribution or increase of poverty.

    Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity. The Church's social doctrine has always maintained that justice must be applied to every phase of economic activity, because this is always concerned with man and his needs Thus every economic decision has a moral consequence.

    Development aid is a way of creating wealth for all n Such aid must not pursue secondary objectives and must involve the government and people of the country it is intended to help n

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